In Conversation: Ghostpoet Discusses His Collaboration with Levi’s, Alex Turvey & Koreless
Last Wednesday saw the culmination of the Levi’s Make Our Mark project, bringing together three of London’s finest creative talents on a unique collaborative project. Producer, Koreless, and filmmaker, Alex Turvey, joined forces with musician, Ghostpoet, to create a one-off immersive experience combining sound, visuals and live performance at Hackney’s Oval Space. The culmination of weeks of work, the production process saw the group travel to Wales to capture footage and field recordings before returning to the studio in London and creating unique soundscapes set to stunning imagery. Prior to the one-off performance, we managed to sit down with the man himself, Ghostpoet, for a quick chat about his involvement in the project, the collaborative process, music, and his ideas on making art.
SLAMXHYPE: How did you come to be involved with the project?
Ghostpoet: I was asked to be involved by Levi’s and the lovely guys at VICE. It wash;t really a hard sell – the idea sold itself – that I would have the chance to be creative with some fellow artists in different mediums – a great director and a great fellow producer. It was an easy decision to make.
SXH: Can you talk us through your contribution to the process?
GP: I provided the words and helped with the production. That’s it basically, I was the lyrical/production side, Lewis (Koreless) provided the lion’s share of the production and Alex Turvey created the visuals.
SXH: What was it like working with Alex and Lewis?
GP: Great. They’re great lads. Really nice guys and easy to work with. With something like this its important to work with guys that are easy to get on with and won’t shut down your ideas and are open to criticism and the exchanging of ideas. I’ve worked with Koreless in the past, but not directly, and I’ve never worked with Alex before, so you never know how it will turn out, but they’re great guys. It was easy. Easy peasy.
SXH: So you got up to Wales to record the soundtrack?
GP: Nah I didn’t, but they did. They got up to Wales and recorded the sounds that ended up in the actual tracks. The majority of the sounds and visuals were done up there. They took a team up there and created what is going to be shown at the performance.
SXH: So did you go into the studio afterwards and lay down your part?
GP: For me, I like the idea of the collaboration and I wanted to help with the production. We were able to watch the footage in the studio and I soaked that up and took that in and then went away and wrote by parts and recorded it another day. That’s how it works for me.
SXH: I like the idea of how the end result is basically a product of its environment. Would you say the same about your own music?
GP: Definitely. With this particular project its definitely all our personalities that have been immersed in it. And for me as an individual artist it’s very much about that – having your environment, your immediate environment, immersed in the music, as well as lyrically connecting with the immediate world around you and that’s what I try to bring to this particular project.
SXH: So you’re bringing your own experience to the project…
GP: I’m bringing my life! I’m putting it all on the line for this shit!
SXH: For someone else to experience…
GP: Yeah! That’s what art is about really, for me, personally, I think it’s very much about giving your view on the world. Your views on your life and how you see life and putting that down, be it musically, be it visually, be it in some kind of creative way, so that’s what is necessary. That’s what I try and do, anyway.
SXH: As an artist where do you look for inspiration?
GP: I wouldn’t say anywhere in particular, really. Just life. Just talking and eating and drinking and immersing myself in life and trying to work it out in my head. Things around me and what direction I wanna go with my life. Trying to evolve as an artist, as a human being, as a person. All that is mixed up in some kind of… gumbo and it becomes music in some shape or form. I listen to so much music that it’s hard to be like “this person’s inspired me” or “that person’s inspired me”, I just allow everything that I interact with to be some form of inspiration. That’s kind of how I look at it.
SXH: In terms of your own sound, how far can you push it?
GP: Genres and working out where I wanna be in two, three, five, six, ten years is… stressful. I’d rather just concentrate on the now and continue to try and evolve. Whatever direction that takes is the direction I need to go naturally, that’s it. If I try and put some kind of perimeters or rules or some kind of “I have to stick into this particular box” thing, you just restrict yourself creatively, so I just want to continue to create, and it’s great to do projects like this because I’m inspired by these guys and it will hopefully reflect in the music that I make for myself. That’s what keeps me going.